Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Birthday to You

My sweet girl turns 11 today. Eleven years ago, this deep blue eyed baby girl made me a mama. I didn't know then how much she would have me wrapped around her little finger, but I DID know the moment she was born, that I was put on this Earth to be a mama. She taught me more about love and life in the last eleven years than all of my 29 years combined.

She's taught me that it doesn't matter if you have the most money or the biggest house, but rather the most important thing is how much love is present in the home. She's taught me that life is made up of all the small ordinary moments more than the large, grandeur ones. She shows me what it means to give unconditional love and not only that, but she lives it daily. When I make mistakes or fall short, she's the first one there to tell me it's okay. She loves me anyways.

This little girl turning lady has so much creativity and love that blossoms into generosity and compassion for those around her. She brightens up the room just by being in it. She's silly to the max and knows how to make people laugh (even at inappropriate times). She's the best big sister anyone could ask for, and even if she won't admit it, she loves her brothers more than life itself. Her heart is soft and fragile but bigger than her body. She loves bigger than any 11 year old I know.

She was dealt a hand that wasn't typical or one that seemed easy, but in the ins and outs of every day, she rolls with the punches. She doesn't dwell on the unanswered questions, but instead, focuses on the heavy doses of love that comes from having more grandparents and aunts and uncles than her friends. She's constantly striving to understand others and offer help when needed.

I couldn't be more proud of this girl. Not even if I tried. I'm confident that anyone who crosses her path is a better person for knowing her, and on the days I feel like I've failed or fallen short of being a good mom to her and her brothers, I am reminded by her hugs and her love and her notes and her laughter that I'm raising a little lady who is going to do big things. She's going to change the world. She already is.

Jaedyn Grace, We love you so very much. Your father and I are so proud of you. We can't wait to see what year 11 brings for you!

Monday, September 8, 2014

School Daze (aka. The muthaload)

Okay. I apologize. It's definitely been WAY too long since I've had a post. I apologize for that. I'd love to say that it's because we're too busy having the time of our lives, but really it would be more accurate to say that this 3rd grade teacher is frantically scrambling to adjust to new....everything. I'm in survival mode AGAIN if you will. What do ya do? Roll with the punches is what we do!

Our last weeks of summer were relaxed and made us anxious to get back. Dan and the kids had one last hurrah at a Twin's game with the Hospers Rec League. I spent the day helping a friend with classroom things. Jaedyn spent a weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's learning the ways of Grandpa's bee hive. She helped him extract the honey or whatever the technical term is. She felt pretty awesome about it!

I spent a lot of my last moments reading and drinking coffee. Preparing myself for days when relaxation would be just a memory. ;)

Due to construction, we weren't able to get into our room until literally a few days before the school year started. Needless to say, with changing rooms, it was a very busy week just getting into our rooms. Not only that, but we are doing things a little differently this year so instead of having one switch to plan for, we all now have three PLUS a new math resource. Lots of changes. Lots of headaches. Lots of 8:30 bedtimes for this mama. I'm exhausted. It's bad enough I need 10 hours of sleep on a normal day. I'm hoping we will be in the swing of things soon! We are ready for a normal routine.

Lots of changes are happening this school year. Sawyer is a Kindergartner. It's so hard to believe. It's bittersweet. Part of me is really sad that my baby is a school kid, and the better half of me is so excited he gets to come with me this year. He has a great teacher, and has loved every minute of school so far. We've had to remind him a few times that it's inappropriate to kiss teachers, but he's so stinkin cute, we can't get mad when he breaks the rules. ;)
Carter gets to be in 3rd grade with me this year, which is so much fun. His room is right next to me, and he's loving the fact that I'm his Social Studies teacher. I'm loving the fact that I know what he's doing in school, and Mr. Ackerman is a great fit for him. Carter's excited for Mr. Ackerman to come back from paternity leave even though he loves Mrs. Byker too. :)

Jaedyn has ventured into Middle School territory. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Summer brought about lots of changes this mama wasn't ready for. I can tell she's quickly moving from girl to tween and as excited as she is to have more freedom in the big school, it reminds me how quickly they grow up. I don't have as much time as I'd like with them. If I blink, she'll be in high school. I'm not ready for it!! I'm the crappy mom who didn't get a picture with her teacher. I sent her to school on the first day with her camera, so when I upload those onto my computer, I'll put it up here.

Dad and his kiddos on the first day of school

Ready to take all of my littles with me!
My birthday fell on Labor Day this year. Yay me! It ended up being a fantastic weekend with the right amount of ebb and flow. My mom took the boys Friday night so we could leave for Okoboji early on Saturday morning. I had purchased a Groupon for paddleboarding that we were going to use so my mom took them already after school. Jaedyn went to Yankton with some friends for the weekend, so we were kid-less. Paddleboarding turned out to be so so much fun. If I had $2400 for a couple of boards, I would definitely get some. It was a lot of fun!

Some of our friends came up to hang out with us too! We got to eat at the Taco House and the Gardens, hang out at the Barefoot Bar listening to dueling pianos for awhile, and spend some time on the boat listening to music and hanging out with friends. It was a great birthday!

Captain Dan-o

The girls

Add caption

At the Gardens

 Sunday, the boys didn't want to come home yet, so Dan and I vegged. All. Day. We watched Netflix, and I went to the gym, but otherwise, we did nothing. Perfect day. Monday was my actual birthday, and my mom made us breakfast. I came home with a fully belly, presents from my littles, and a boat load of apples and tomatoes. I am so thankful to have such amazing friends and family!
Sawyer made me a yarn vase. Carter and Grandpa made me a tray out of oak. Jaedyn got me marker board things and nail polish. My mom wrote me an amazing card and gave me some money and some honey. ;)

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the parade and car show in Sheldon, and topped it off with frozen yogurt. Not a bad birthday weekend if I may say so myself. :)

It's a dreary Monday to start the week, but we've got a busy one ahead of us. My oldest little turns 11 this week. Bah! I'm not even sure what to think about that, but there will be a birthday post up on the blog this week!

Happy Monday everyone!